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sport / / OT - THOR Microwave Anti-Drone System Downs Swarms In Test

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OT - THOR Microwave Anti-Drone System Downs Swarms In Test


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Subject: OT - THOR Microwave Anti-Drone System Downs Swarms In Test
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 by: observer - Sun, 28 May 2023 04:46 UTC

October 26 2021

Tactical High Power Operational Responder
(THOR) Drone Killer, USA

THOR is a directed energy weapon used to
disable aerial drones, especially drone swarms.
The Tactical High Power Operational Responder
(THOR) is ... capable of disabling aerial drone
swarms electromagnetically.

THOR is a high-energy microwave laser directed-
energy weapon intended for the defence of air-
bases. The technology was developed with an
investment of $15 million.

It has been developed by the US Air Force Re-
search Lab (AFRL) of the US Air Force (USAF).

.... THOR is a low-cost per shot speed-of-light
solution that can be completely housed in a
standard 20ft container. It can be air trans-
ported in a C-130 military transport aircraft.

The system can be set up completely by two
people in three hours. It provides a user inter-
face that reduces the need for user training
& operates using ground power from a 'wall

May 19 2023

The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) con-
ducted the demonstration on April 5 ... 2023.
During the demonstration, ... the THOR system
.... “engaged a swarm of multiple targets,” ... .
This marks a significant moment [for THOR],
which has been in field-testing for several years
now ... .

THOR (Tactical High-power Operational Re-
sponder) Destroys Swarms of Enemy Drones
Youtube video:

.... THOR uses high-power microwaves to es-
sentially fry, disable, or disrupt electronic sys-
tems on a target. Significantly, THOR can be
used against multiple targets at once, making
it a potentially invaluable weapon for defense
against drone swarms where other close-in ...

.... defenses — everything from gun systems to
lasers — may struggle. ... It's also worth noting
that while countering drones are the main objec-
tive at this time, non-kinetic speed-of-light High-
Power Microwave (HPM) systems can also ...

.... potentially be used against low-flying cruise
missiles & even land/surface targets.

Photos: THOR system

A basic graphic showing the THOR system at

.... the Air Force isn’t the only branch of the U.S.
military interested in THOR. The U.S. Army offi-
cially announced it was contributing financially
to the program in early 2021, with THOR being
used as part of an Indirect Fire Protection Capa-
bility-High Power Microwave ... prototype system
that the service plans to field by Fiscal Year 2024.

Photo: Leaders from the Army Rapid Capabilities
& Critical Technologies Office enter the portable
control center of Air Force Research Laboratory’s
Tactical High Power Operational Responder (THOR)
to view the system’s drone-killing capabilities, on
February 11, 2021

.... In early 2022, AFRL awarded ... a $26 million con-
tract for the development of the counter-UAS ‘Mjölnir’
weapon. Mjölnir builds on technology demonstrated
in the THOR program ... . An initial prototype is ex-
pected to be delivered this year.


February 28 2022

Killing drones with Thor’s hammer: Air Force
eyes counter-UAS ‘Mjölnir’ weapon

In Norse mythology, the thunder god Thor used his
legendary hammer Mjölnir to slay giants. In the
“Avengers” films, it was wielded by superheroes to
battle the evil Thanos.

But the U.S. Air Force is now working on its own
Mjölnir, one it hopes will prove to be a revolutionary
drone killer.

The Air Force Research Laboratory has awarded a
$26 million contract ... to build a prototype system
by that name that will zap small unmanned aerial
systems with high-power microwaves & disable

End Insert

The Air Force has been experimenting with various
anti-drone directed energy weapons, including lasers,
in recent years to combat the threats posed by small
unmanned aircraft. These have included other high-
power microwave counter-drone systems such as
Raytheon’s Phaser,

Photo: Raytheon's Phaser system

and the Counter-Electronic High-Power Microwave
Extended-Range Air Base Air Defense, also known

Epirus's Leonidas system is also of particular inter-
est and work is being done to integrate the hardware
onto a Stryker armored fighting vehicle, which could
be a big win for protecting units on the go from drones.
The Army, in general, sees Leonidas as a promising
system, and a contract worth tens of millions was ...

.... awarded to Epirus by the service to further evolve
the system in January.

Epirus Leonidas Counter-Electronics System
Youtube video:

The article mentioned the navy is working on anti-
drone High-Power Microwave (HPM) systems, but
didn't provide any details.

.... networked swarms of drones would likely play
a key role in a potential future conflict with China,
possibly over Taiwan. This is where high-power
microwave counter-drone systems, such as THOR,
could become particularly useful, with their ability
to knock-out large groups and even swarms of
drones rapidly with broad disruptive beams.

With the use of drones by foreign adversaries on
the rise, the need to defend against them remains
high. This includes protecting troops in the field,
ships at sea, and even flightlines at home. The
latest THOR test represents an important step
forward in advancing the Air Force’s ability to
counter drones, and drone swarms, in the future.

--- --- ---

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